The results from the new report, in partnership with the U.S. Climate Alliance and NYSERDA, will be shared at an upcoming panel discussion
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Researchers at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, in partnership with the U.S. Climate Alliance and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), have found that investments in three priority areas; reforestation, afforestation, and dairy farm manure management, could provide over $3 billion in climate action potential to rural economies in New York State. In the report, released in February by NYSERDA, researchers noted that the state could abate 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year over the next decade while simultaneously supporting $188 million in annual wages for over 6,000 employees.
Findings from the report will be shared at an upcoming virtual panel discussion, open to the public on March 8 at 1 p.m. eastern standard time.
“New York State was among the first states to take action on climate change and has been a leader in the fight against climate change since the mid 2000s,” said Jared Woollacott, a research economist at RTI and lead author on the report. “New York’s agricultural and forest lands have great potential for helping New York meet its climate goals for reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Identifying win-win opportunities like these that improve the climate and support economic development, especially in rural areas, are an essential part of climate action planning.”
Key findings from the report include:
- Planting trees and capturing manure methane can increase the removal rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) and reduce New York’s greenhouse gas emissions, with most of the economic benefits accruing in New York’s rural communities.
- Afforestation: By growing forests on approximately 2.4 million acres of unforested lands, New York can cost-effectively remove excess carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and support more than 4,600 full-time equivalent jobs over the coming decade.
- Reforestation: By replanting trees on an additional 1.1 million acres of poorly stocked forest lands, New York can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the environment and support approximately 1,175 jobs over the coming decade.
- Manure Methane Management: Covering manure storage and flaring methane emissions is one of New York’s most cost-effective abatement options, reducing methane from 450 New York dairy farms while improving water quality and delivering other benefits. Implementation of this measure could also support nearly 350 jobs over the next decade.
Beyond economic impacts, researchers noted that benefits of these climate actions could include improved air and water quality, reduced flood risk, increased recreation opportunities, support to wildlife and habitats, and timber and renewable energy options.
The report was supported by the United States Climate Alliance through funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.